New '˜healthy living' towns will be developed

Ten areas across the country have been picked to become '˜healthy towns' in a bid to tackle the nation's obesity crisis.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 6:00 am

NHS England has outlined plans to help create the new communities, which will be focused on ‘healthy living’.

The health service will have a role in planning the new towns, which will provide more than 76,000 homes across England, and will use them to test possible solutions to tackle obesity and help people with dementia.

Options to be tested at some of these sites include fast food-free zones near schools, designing safe and appealing green spaces and creating ‘dementia-friendly’ streets.

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NHS England said it will bring together clinicians, designers and technology experts to ‘re-imagine’ how health and care can be delivered across these new communities.

The sites picked to be part of the programme are in Whitehill and Bordon in Hampshire, Cranbrook in Devon, a new development in Darlington, Barking Riverside in London, Halton Lea in Runcorn, Cheshire, Whyndyke Farm in Fylde, Lancashire, a new community in Bicester, Oxfordshire, Northstowe in Cambridgeshire, Ebbsfleet Garden City in Kent and Barton Park in Oxford.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘We want children to have places where they want to play with friends and can safely walk or cycle to school – rather than just exercising their fingers on video games. We want to see home designs that make it easier for older people to continue to live independently.’